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Dear (Contact First Name),

Let's take a moment this week to give thanks for all of the people across the nation who are working so hard to defend public education. See more below.


Give thanks for public school warriors!

The nation might be more divided than ever politically after this presidential election, so it is heartening to see growing numbers of allies join the fight to support and strengthen public education.

One notable new and important group of allies is the Movement for Black Lives which includes Black Lives Matter and Journey for Justice. The coalition recently completed a policy platform which calls for a moratorium on charter schools and a demand for all elected school boards.

In October, the NAACP also called for a charter school moratorium .

Some are wondering if a Trump administration will provoke a more unified movement of public school advocates. Reaction to today's announcement that pro-voucher Betsy DeVos will be the next Secretary of Education suggests that this might happen.

But for today, let's just stop and take a moment of gratitude for those who have been toiling in the field for so long, people like Sheila Warren, Karen Lewis, Jesse Hagopian, Monty Neill, Diane Ravitch, Jitu Brown, Leonie Haimson (and name your own heroes!) and be glad that they do what they do.       

Still time to speak out against national student database

PAA endorsed a letter sent by the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy last week to a federal commission considering a national student database.

The letter was published in the Washington Post Answer Sheet column last week. 

The Dept. of Education under Arne Duncan tried and failed to establish such a database, which is banned under current law, but the Gates Foundation has determined to get it done this year. Several Gates-funded groups were invited to testify at a hearing before the commission last month, and all of these groups spoke in favor of lifting the data collection ban.

You can still file comments on the proposal until Dec. 14. The Parent Coalition has instructions on how to file and a sample letter here.   

They are also urging us to contact our congressional representatives with the same message. You could stop by their home offices (most are home for Thanksgiving) or call, fax or email next week.  

Save the dates!

PAA is planning  to hold our annual leadership conference back in Washington, DC, in 2017.

Our tentative dates are Saturday, April 29 - Tuesday, May 2.

We hope to include time in this year's conference schedule for visits to the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture and to legislators on Capitol Hill.

PAA's leadership conferences are designed for leaders of our chapters and affiliates and people interested in starting or joining a chapter or affiliate. We hope to be able to fund travel scholarships as we have in the past.   
The Impact of Poverrty and Race on Educattional Opportunity with Jesse Hagopian
PAA Webinar: The Impact of Poverty and Race on Educational Opportunity with Jesse Hagopian
Watch the PAA webinar
with Jesse Hagopian

This Parents Across America webinar, held on Nov. 20, 2016, features educator/activist Jesse Hagopian. Jesse reframes education issues to clarify how bad education policies and practices like high-stakes standardized testing, school privatization, and discriminatory discipline harm students of color. In this video, Jesse shares success stories from Seattle and elsewhere as a call to action for everyone who cares about high-quality public schools for all children.

The link to the video is here.

If you share our overall goals of progressive, positive education reform and more parent input in education policy making, we invite you to affiliate with us if you are an existing group, or to form a new PAA chapter. The more of us there are, the stronger our voice will be at every level.  Here's how! 
If you have questions, comments, suggestions or stories to share, please e-mail us at or visit

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